Mayor Biggs with guests in front of the 10ft menorah
Residents joined faith leaders at a special ceremony outside Tower Hamlets Town Hall on 2 December to mark the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah.
A 10ft menorah was installed outside Mulberry Place by the Greenwich & Docklands Chabad Jewish Community Centre to mark the eight-day festival which started on 28 November and runs until 6 December.
Highlights at the event also included traditional singing and dancing and speeches from faith leaders.
Rabbi Ephraim Carlebach, co-director of Greenwich & Docklands Chabad Jewish Community Centre, said:
“One key theme I would like to focus on is the special miracle of perseverance. Even in the face of great difficulties, finding the strength to carry on and do good, bringing light into our world.”
Mayor Biggs was given the honour of lighting the first candle. He said:
“It is a privilege to be a part of this event and to I wish a happy Hanukkah to everyone who is celebrating.
“Tower Hamlets has always been a safe haven for people fleeing from persecution and seeking to make a new life and this incudes our historic Jewish community who settled here and have been able to achieve great things. Our spirit of tolerance and diversity shines bright.”
Guests included President of the Nelson Street Synagogue, Leon Silver, Reverend Alan Green representing Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum, Rabbi Mendy Korer, Jewish Chaplain at the Royal London Hospital, Rose Edmonds from Sandys Row Synagogue and Cllr Andrew Wood.
Resident Oliver Ghnassia who came along to join in the event said: “My family live in Belgium and I am missing celebrating Hanukkah with them. The community event is a great idea and it makes me feel connected to my traditions and to celebrate with others.”
Posted on Monday 6th December 2021